Dons in confident mood ahead of key promotion clash at Oldham

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Doncaster RLFC take on third-placed Oldham at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday in a game which could define their Betfred League One title ambitions.

The Dons go into the game having lost just once – away to leaders Dewsbury – while Oldham have dropped just three points.

Their only defeat came in early-season game at the Eco-Power Stadium where they also suffered a narrow defeat in the Rugby League Challenge Cup.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“They are on a good run and are the only side to take a point off Dewsbury this season in a recent home game,” said head coach Richard Horne.

Sam Smeaton scored a hat-trick of tries in last Sunday’s win at home to Rochdale Hornets.Sam Smeaton scored a hat-trick of tries in last Sunday’s win at home to Rochdale Hornets.
Sam Smeaton scored a hat-trick of tries in last Sunday’s win at home to Rochdale Hornets.

“We’ll go there in a confident frame of mind but we know that if we are to come away with the result that we are hoping for we can’t afford to play as badly as we did in the first half of last weekend’s 42-20 win over Rochdale.

“We certainly can’t afford to give them a ten-point lead at the interval and expect to come away with the points.

“Like us, they’ve been able to field a fairly settled team in the last six or seven weeks, and will be as full of confidence as we are.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Oldham, who are set to return to Boundary Park next season following a recent takeover, have proved hard to beat in recent seasons on their tight 3G pitch.

The Dons don’t have the best of records at the Vestacare Stadium and would certainly wish to avoid having to go there in the play-offs if they fail to finish in the top two and Dewsbury hang on to top spot.

“It’s not the best of pitches to play on and the fact that they both play and train on it will be to their advantage,” said Horne.

“What may be to our advantage is the fact that we had a tough game against a good Rochdale side and hopefully that will stand us in good stead.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The next two or three weeks is crucial, not just for us but all the teams involved in the title race with several key four-pointers.

“Although our destiny is in our own hands, we’ve got little margin for error.

“The target for us is to still be in second place or higher going into our next home game against Midlands Hurricanes on July 23 having played both Oldham and Hunslet on our travels.”

Full-back Elliot Hall, who picked up a knock in the game against the Hurricanes, is again likely to be missing.